AVANAVANTE AANANDAM KANDETHAANULLA VAZHIKAL - Novel: C. V. Balakrishnan; DC Books, Kottayam-686001. Rs. 125. THIS NOVEL handles the delicate theme of the basic sexual instinct. The protagonist and his wife do not have a progeny and the lady is sad over that. He is a wholesale cigarette dealer in a small north Kerala town. The hero witnesses a 'nagini' in a magic show, but in reality she is a beautiful girl, who is draped in the form of a snake. The sight arouses the hero and after his dalliance with her becomes impotent. He then becomes paranoid. He undergoes all kinds of treatment but to no avail. He then pursues voyeuristic pleasures. His dutiful wife goes to an Ashram, but he is unconcerned. He continues with his trials and tribulations for getting back sexual strength, but of no use. The novel ends when he finds the 'nagini' sermonising at a village fair.Despite the delicate theme, the author handles it with commendable control without vulgarity. The period, the early 1960s, and the locale are captured commendably. The language, style and nuances of local idiom are well documented. Characters distinctly stand out, and craft, style and symbolism are praiseworthy in the narrative. The history of the small town is portrayed with elan.